Despite a steady diet of English literature, my first association with the word ‘manor’ is always German. Estonia is dotted with hundreds of manor houses, left behind by the Baltic-German barons when they returned to Germany before World War II.
I am certainly not a fan of any kind of a class system and most of the memories the manors hold for Estonians are not exactly happy, but their beauty, history and romantic dereliction always enchanted me as a child. As an adult, I’ve decided that enjoying the gazebos and ponds and orangeries and pale pink houses – now often meticulously restored – is the only sensible course of action. It is my history and I am reclaiming it.
So the fantasy of being a mõisapreili has never really left me. I imagine an atmosphere of delicate boredom and refined provincialness. I imagine reading the classics in the garden and drinking tea on the veranda, writing letters and wearing old-fashioned but beautiful pear earrings. I imagine stairs and a piano, white curtains in the wind and flowers in every vase.
I don’t have manor, of course, but I have this:
– the Queen dress by Tallinn Dolls
– shoes by Christian Louboutin
– vintage drop earrings
– an antique silver jug
– Apres l’Ondee by Guerlain
– I Hate and I Love by Catullus
– Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Confident (it would work better with the concept if it was called Shy, but the colour is perfect)